Question: Often I have students that I feel can do more advanced courses or breathing, but I am hesitant to teach them if they smoke or have other negative habits. Are there any cautions against teaching advanced practices for this or other reasons?

Answer: It’s almost like a doctor saying, “I am hesitant to give him any medicine because he is sick.” Then who wants the doctor then? The smoking people, all the people who are fit to be practicing yoga, because they need the treatment. If you are already clean, good, you don’t need to be practicing Yoga. So teach them. By practicing Yoga, they will slowly get rid of their negative qualities, wrong habits, and become better people. The same guys who sat there and smoked the cigarettes and asked, “Teach me Yoga,” are the Yoga teachers now. Don’t negate them. They will get corrected. Yoga is the remedy for the problems. Let them take the remedy. Don’t hesitate to give it to them.

Swami Satchidananda

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